Dear Readers: “Heartworms” — the word itself is scary, but prevention and treatment are possible.
Heartworm disease can result in lung damage and heart failure in dogs and cats. Symptoms? Coughing, tiredness, trouble breathing and weight loss.
Prevention of heartworm is the cheaper, safer alternative to treatment. If you adopt a dog or cat from the shelter, have the animal tested for heartworm; lots of stray animals contract heartworm. The worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito.
Prevention is either a shot that’s good for several months, a topical liquid applied to the skin or a monthly chew. Talk to your veterinarian about what’s best for your pet.
Treatment is effective, but painful and expensive. Your vet will give a series of tests first to make sure your pet is healthy enough to start treatment. Multiple doctor visits likely will be required.
People cannot contract heartworm disease. The worms don’t establish themselves in human hearts.
For more information, visit heartwormsociety.org.
Dear Readers: Gail K. adopted Twister almost five years ago. His mommy was rescued from a puppy mill. He loves everyone, even the veterinarian, and greets even strangers with a big smile!
To see Twister and our other Pet Pals, visit Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”
Dear Heloise: When ordering online, it’s important to check the company’s return policy. We neglected to do that recently, and even though the company sent the wrong size, we were not only responsible for return shipping, but the company has a 20 percent restocking fee.
It was an expensive lesson to learn.
Janet B., via email
Janet B.: Call and speak to a representative or supervisor. They should be willing to work with you to resolve the issue. But yes, read the fine print first.
Dear Heloise: The best way for me to pick up leaves and flowers floating in my pool is with a butterfly net. I float on a pool noodle and collect them, and the grandchildren love to help!
Kathleen K., via email
Kathleen K.: It’s getting to be time to close up the pool in many areas; squeeze as much out of summer as you can!
Dear Heloise: I see a lot of hints in your column about closet organizing. Here is mine:
I sort my garments by length: robes and gowns, dresses and pants, and tops and shirts. In my closet, the tops and shirts can be hung on double racks, one over the other, and still be within easy reach.
Lynda C., via email
Dear Heloise: My wife takes four white pills of the same size, every day. To tell the difference, I put a small dot of food coloring on each one with a toothpick.
Ken C., Harrison, Ark.